Teen killed near Newport News community center where he spent almost every day

Protesters carry a poster of Stephen Davis Jr., who was fatally shot outside a Newport News community center where he spent nearly every day.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A 17-year-old shot and killed on Marshall Avenue spent most of his days nearby at the Boys and Girls Club, where his mom and staff members say he often helped kids in the neighborhood with homework.

Latonya Boswell says her son, Stephen Davis Jr., was killed at the intersection of 32nd Street and Marshall Avenue around 4 p.m. on Monday.

Boswell says her son got “nosy” and went to check out police activity when someone fired a gun.

Detectives tell WAVY.com they’re still working to nail down the suspect(s) who committed the crime.

“He was 17. I did everything in my power to make sure my baby was good and they took that away from me,” said Boswell. “Stephen was a loving person.”

Boswell, who grew up in Newport News, joined a large crowd of people in marching down Marshall Avenue on Thursday protesting gun violence.

“If anybody can get these kids under control, it’s us: the mothers,” she shouted at the crowd.

The scene of Monday’s shooting is about 300 feet from the Marshall Courts Recreation Center where Davis frequented.

Karren Douglas started working at the center in 2007. She says Davis is her fifth student to die from gun violence.

Douglas says Davis would often help kids off the bus after school and help them complete their homework.

“He would make sure his brothers and sisters were good,” she said. “He was a very, very, very intelligent child and he had a lot of potential.”

John Eley, a Newport News School Board member, helped organize the rally after Davis’ death. He says it was important for the kids, some as young as four years old, to join the march.

“They’re terrified,” Eley said. “One child told me today, ‘I want to go outside and play but I am scared.’ They don’t know when the next gun is going to go off.”

A Neighborhood Crime Watch Meeting to address crime concerns will be held Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 3-4 p.m. at the Marshall Courts Recreation Center. The event is open to the public.

Anyone with information about Davis’ death are encouraged to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit tips anonymously online through https://www.p3tips.com/.